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Riding Increases Blood Glucose

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Riding Increases Blood Glucose

Old 07-31-17, 11:57 AM
  #1  
markm109
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Riding Increases Blood Glucose

So I'm looking for input from other type 2 diabetics. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 15 years ago. I'm on oral meds only, no insulin. I check my blood glucose before I ride and then again after the ride. For shorter rides up to 50 miles I do not eat anything during the ride and only drink water. My blood glucose will increase from 130 to 185 or so. When I did an 86 mile and 100 mile ride, I did eat a cliff bar and my reading was over 200 when I finished. Clearly my liver is putting out more glucose than my body can burn. Anyone else have this issue? Did it ever go back to normal - glucose going down from a ride? I'm at the point I don't want to eat during a ride or any time after a ride. It took 36 hours for the blood glucose to drop to normal levels after the century ride.

I know 200 isn't dangerous - I've read if it goes above 400 to stop riding. But it bothers me because to stay off insulin I've got to get my A1C down and these high sugars from exercising are contradictory to making that happen. It's almost better if I don't exercise.

Some background - if the ride is in the morning, I don't eat before the ride. I do take all my meds before I ride. I eat only plant based foods and follow Dr Esselstyn's diet for the most part. I was eating too many vegan junk foods which pushed my A1C too high so I'm trying to cut those out and exercise more. I'm stronger this year than ever being able to do 100 mile bike rides for the first time. I just turned 50 years old. I weigh 220 and I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall.

I mentioned this problem to my doctor via email about 2 months ago and he was not concerned about it. I go back for a visit and blood work next week. He wants better numbers and weight loss from 3 months ago otherwise insulin. My daily morning sugars are down except after big rides and I've lost 10 pounds. So hopefully my A1C has dropped.

I just read about other diabetics having low glucose readings when they bike but I'm the reverse - I just don't understand what my body is doing. Anyone else experience this? Or have any insight?
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Old 07-31-17, 01:14 PM
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I am also a type 2 diabetic, but I do use insulin. My fasting numbers in the morning are usually 70-110, unless I eat something I should not have the night before. My post ride readings are always in the 180's, but they drop pretty quick. Sometimes I give myself a very small dose of insulin but usually within a few hours its back down even if I don't.

When you ride your body releases glucose for energy, thus increasing the glucose in your blood. Overall, however, your A1C should be much lower when you are active then when you are not. I started riding about 10 weeks ago and I was using HUGE amounts of insulin to keep my sugars in check, I was using upwards of 300units a day. Within a month of starting being active again I was using 30units a day and now I am down to 15ish, of course depending on what I eat.

I am not sure what you mean when you say your only eating plant based foods. Keeping your sugar down really is simple, but not easy. Eat as few as carbs as you can (this is VERY hard for me). Eat reasonable amounts of protein, I eat chicken, pork and beef. If you eat too much protein your body will turn it back into glucose. I also eat good fats, especially if I am going to eat something that contains sugar. For example I will eat some peanut butter with an apple, the fat in the peanut butter slows the intake of the sugar from the apple and help keep your numbers from spiking.

If you are calling 50 miles a short ride you are obviously in pretty good shape already and you might really need insulin to keep things under control. Eventually after having diabetes for periods of time, this can vary greatly between people, your body may stop making its own insulin all together or not produce enough. When that happens you need insulin, medicines will no longer control your glucose level well enough on its own. Have you seen an endocrinologist? They do more tests and give give better advice then a primary doctor.
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Old 07-31-17, 04:23 PM
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Toxins pool in your lower legs. Riding increases circulation which moves the toxins alowing your body to get rid of them.....my glucose reading is always higher after exercising.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:09 PM
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I just went to the Dr today and we discussed my glucose levels. She mentioned something along the same line as BigBiker1 talked about, especially if riding before eating. She didn't seem worried about it so neither am I.
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Old 07-31-17, 06:52 PM
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Plant based means no meat, dairy, refined or processed foods. I follow Dr. Esselstyn diet for heart disease.

Dr. Esselstyn's Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Program | Make yourself heart attack proof
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Old 07-31-17, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by markm109 View Post
Plant based means no meat, dairy, refined or processed foods. I follow Dr. Esselstyn diet for heart disease.

Dr. Esselstyn's Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Program | Make yourself heart attack proof
I would talk to your doctor or even better your endocrinologist about following that diet. I don't know anything about it, but it might not be good for type 2 diabetes.
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Old 08-01-17, 09:02 AM
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I don't currently take any medication (It was prescribed but I'm trying the lifestyle change route first) but I may have experienced both raised and lowered blood sugar after a ride.

At least twice I've measured BG after a ride and it was higher than it had been several hours before, even though I hadn't eaten in the interim. I didn't check BG right before the ride so it's not really a direct before/after comparison.

Last week I let my diet slip and found my BG to be 181. I went out and rode several miles (<5) and when I checked BG on my return, it was 84.

I would be very hesitant to follow a vegetarian/vegan diet as a type 2 diabetic. Type 2 diabetes is essentially an intolerance to carbohydrates and a vegetarian diet, as eaten by most people, is a very high carb diet.

You might consider doing some research into a ketogenic or even just a low carb diet. Many people are dropping their A1C's into completely normal ranges with those approaches.
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Old 08-01-17, 10:55 AM
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Another Type 2 diabetic here. I don't always check my numbers after a ride, but when I do, they are almost always a little higher then before the ride, whether I have eaten anything during the ride or not (most of my rides are 20 miles or less, so I hardly ever eat during a ride). I don't think what I drink would cause my numbers to rise since I drink either water or the sugar free Powerade Zero.

Bigbiker1 and dagray are pretty much spot-on with their analysis.




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Old 08-01-17, 04:05 PM
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Thanks everyone for your responses - it's reassuring to know that this is just not happening to me.

I don't want this post to turn into a diet discussion. I followed the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet when I was diagnosed. I purchased Dr Neal Barnard's book - Program for Reversing Diabetes in 2007 when it came out and went vegan. I wrote to the ADA to get their take on Barnard's book and a vegan diet. The ADA agreed it was a good plan but did not promote vegan because they felt it would not be followed by the majority of those with Diabetes and that their more moderate diet was more likely to be followed. I accepted their answer and it just affirmed that vegan was a good choice.

But vegan is hard to do - eating out you're likely to get egg in foods. There are quite a few "vegan" junk foods - potato chips, twizzlers, etc... Eliminating added oil is very difficult - from the heart disease diet. I have had a double stint put into the widow maker which was almost completely blocked and I had a stroke 4 years ago with impairment of movement on my right side of the body. I have 95% recovered from the stroke and I credit my love of biking for that recovery. When I follow my diet 100% - my sugar will drop into the 70's with the meds I'm on. Problem is I get tired of eating mostly salads. So I eat other vegan foods which have more carbs. I've been a vegan for 10 years. My weight has slowly dropped and I'm stronger this year than I've ever been - 50 mile rides are no problem and I've even did a Century and plan on doing at least one more this year if not several more.

I agree that there are other diets that have and are working for other people with diabetes. That's great, find one you can stick with. I am not vegan for the animals - just for my health. This is how I choose to eat and I don't try to push it on others. Really research and understand what caused diabetes in your body. It wasn't carbs.
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Old 08-02-17, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by markm109 View Post
Really research and understand what caused diabetes in your body. It wasn't carbs.
What was it?

Can you share some links to evidence showing it is not carb related?
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Old 08-02-17, 07:03 AM
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I find that riding also increases by BG...165-185 or so. Oddly enough, when the weather is adverse and I opt for the spin bike in the basement my BG doesn't rise it drops. Perceived effort is less with the spin bike. I recently did a 15 mile or so ride soft pedaling (a rest day type of ride)...very little BG rise. SO harder efforts produce a greater BG rise than easier efforts...in my experience. Very odd. Liver converting glycogen to glucose in response to perceived need for more energy?
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Old 08-02-17, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by markm109 View Post
Thanks everyone for your responses - it's reassuring to know that this is just not happening to me.

I don't want this post to turn into a diet discussion. I followed the American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet when I was diagnosed. I purchased Dr Neal Barnard's book - Program for Reversing Diabetes in 2007 when it came out and went vegan. I wrote to the ADA to get their take on Barnard's book and a vegan diet. The ADA agreed it was a good plan but did not promote vegan because they felt it would not be followed by the majority of those with Diabetes and that their more moderate diet was more likely to be followed. I accepted their answer and it just affirmed that vegan was a good choice.

But vegan is hard to do - eating out you're likely to get egg in foods. There are quite a few "vegan" junk foods - potato chips, twizzlers, etc... Eliminating added oil is very difficult - from the heart disease diet. I have had a double stint put into the widow maker which was almost completely blocked and I had a stroke 4 years ago with impairment of movement on my right side of the body. I have 95% recovered from the stroke and I credit my love of biking for that recovery. When I follow my diet 100% - my sugar will drop into the 70's with the meds I'm on. Problem is I get tired of eating mostly salads. So I eat other vegan foods which have more carbs. I've been a vegan for 10 years. My weight has slowly dropped and I'm stronger this year than I've ever been - 50 mile rides are no problem and I've even did a Century and plan on doing at least one more this year if not several more.

I agree that there are other diets that have and are working for other people with diabetes. That's great, find one you can stick with. I am not vegan for the animals - just for my health. This is how I choose to eat and I don't try to push it on others. Really research and understand what caused diabetes in your body. It wasn't carbs.
Sounds like you know what you are doing and it's working for you.
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Old 08-03-17, 07:27 AM
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https://www.docmuscles.com/

You might at least look into this. It has worked very well for me.
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Old 08-03-17, 03:45 PM
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I'm still dying to know the real source of diabetes...
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Old 08-13-17, 08:42 AM
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You need to be using anerobic (weight lifting) excersize to remedy your glucose issue. You have too much excess fat and cardiovascular excersize alone cannot balance your fat burning appropriately is the short answer.

Once you lose the excess fat, cardiovascular excersize can maintain a healthy weight.
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